When Pam Ayres Gets Up From Her Chair!

Writer, broadcaster and entertainer Pam Ayres tells me that she is quite keen about gardening despite getting somewhat overwhelmed by it occasionally.

She explains, “I am lucky I have a beautiful garden. It was on the BBC’s One Show recently, so it’s now a TV garden,” she laughs. “It’s very much a wildlife garden and I always choose plants that have added value for wildlife. One’s that will either provide a nesting site for birds, or nectar and food for insects. I’ve been keeping bees since 1996. My father and Granny kept bees and when my Dad died, my brother took on his bees. He said that my garden would be good for the hives, with the lime trees and other plants, so in they came. I have learned how to keep them from my brother. I only have 2 hives, which is enough. They’re a lot of work.”

As well as bees, Pam has 10 laying hens, 22 guinea fowl – “they just wander around, more for visual effect than anything else” – 8 sheep, 17 cows and two dogs of her own, a Jack Russell and a rescued large Munster Lander. “I also look after my son and daughter-in-laws two dogs so I’ve usually got 16 muddy paws in the house.” she explains. “I’d love to have an animal shelter but if I did my husband would probably leave me.”

As a real outdoor lover, Pam gets out in garden or the fields most days. “We grow all out own veg and cut flowers too. I have got a gardener who helps but I love being outside and mucking in.”

And when she’s not busy at home, the cheerful small holder is busy promoting her autobiography, ‘The Necessary Aptitude,’ (now out in paperback), speaking at literary festivals and preparing for her Shows which begin later this month.  “I have loved writing all my books, but I really care a lot about my latest book, ‘The Necessary Aptitude‘” she explains, “It’s not about how I got rich and famous, it’s about my childhood. I really wanted to write it.”

Pam started writing at just 12 years old. “My elder brothers used to bring home all sorts of music including Lonnie Donegan’s ‘Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavour on the Bed Post Overnight’ and ‘My Old Man’s a Dustman’ and so I wrote a parody about his songs. It wasn’t very good,” she adds. Pam later made her stage debut aged 19 whilst in the WRAF in Singapore. “That’s when I started doing poems in earnest. I had no idea that I could use my vocabulary and love of words to make people laugh. It’s been such fun and irresistibly lovely.”

Enjoy some of Pam’s poems and find out more about her and Tour Dates at www.pamayres.com

When I get Up From My Chair by Pam Ayres

Quiet please! Kindly don’t impede my concentration
I am sitting in the garden thinking thoughts of propagation
Of sowing and of nurturing the fruits my work will bear
And the place won’t know what’s hit it
Once I get up from my chair.

I’m at the planning stages now, if you should need to ask
And if I’m looking weary, it’s the rigours of the task
While the creation of a garden is a strain, as you can guess
So if my eyes should close, it isn’t sleep of course, it’s stress.

Oh, the mower I will cherish, and the tools I will oil
The dark, nutritious compost I will stroke into the soil
My sacrifice, devotion and heroic aftercare
Will leave you green with envy
Once I get up from my chair.

I’ve got lots of leeks to dibble and my runner beans to stake
And I want everything hung up – the garden hoe, the garden rake
I’ll disinfect the green house, when I’ve finished in the shed
Then, beside my faded roses, I will snip off every head.

I will excavate the bindweed, treat the moss upon the lawn
That hairy bittercress will curse the day that it was born
I will rise against the foe, and in the fight we will be matched
And the cabbage caterpillars they will curse the day they hatched.

Oh the branches I will layer and the cuttings I will take
Let other fellows dig a pond, I shall dig a LAKE.

My garden – what a showpiece!
There’ll be pilgrims come to stare
And I’ll bow and take the credit
Once I get up from my chair.


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